** Disclaimer - the RAID calculators will tell you that this is 18TB but the actual usable space of 8x 3TB drives in RAID6 is only 16TB. $3600 for 9x 3TB drives with tax & shipping $250 Dell Precision 690 workstation Just buy anything complete with at least one CPU and all the caddys $200 for CPU and heatsink upgrades for P690 Plan on buying two Xeon x5160 CPUs and at least one FULL heatsink, not the cheap kind with the holes in the middle (look at pictures to follow) $150 for 16GB of DDR2 RAM Get 2Rx8 and make sure it's fully buffered not just ECC $200 for a Intel Pro 1000 PT 4-port NIC You can go cheap-seats and get two of the MT cards (PCIX64) and bond 8 gigabit ports but the PT will bond better and sustained speeds will be better than the MT NICs. $150 for a LSI MegaRAID 8708EM2 8-PORT SAS RAID CARD W/ BBU There are others out there but for the money I've used this quite a bit. Make sure it comes with the battery backup and test the audible alarm as well as the battery charge. $150 for a 128gb SSD (system cache) Anything works. Cheaper the better because you will blow through these with read & writes. Plan on replacing it in 20-30 months. $60 for a 64gb SSD for system OS You can also run the OS off a USB flash drive if you want. Does not need to be a SSD $100 for other junk like SATA cables, thermal compound, the $30 fancy dell stand for these things so it won't tip over and for a few of the 5.25" to 3.5" drive bay converters that are snap-in from dell. $0 for the OS (FreeNAS) Pictures and how-to to follow. ** NOTE: 9x drives required so that there is a local spare. If you are considering building something like this I hope you are smart enough to go with RAID6 over RAID5 and that you are smart enough to have a spare drive on hand. Rebuilding a single 3TB drive is enough to put the others at risk just with the sustained reads. I'll post a bunch of pictures and I'm happy to answer questions.